car insurance http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4910/all en-US 6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren't Worth It -- And What to Do Instead http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_driving_000019761193.jpg" alt="Woman driving car with insurance plan that isn&#039;t worth it " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Forewarned is forearmed, an old adage goes.</p> <p>Being prepared for the unforeseen is always wise, but some insurance companies may actually be cashing in on our fears of unpredictable events. Don't waste money on insurance you don't need &mdash; or by doubling up on coverage you already have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know?ref=seealso">14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know</a>).</p> <p>Here are six kinds of insurance that aren't worth their cost (and a few coverage alternatives, just in case).</p> <h2>1. Rental Car Insurance</h2> <p>You shouldn't pay twice for the same thing. Depending on your car insurance policy and your credit card, you may already be covered for rental car insurance.</p> <p>First, most primary auto insurance policies extend to rental vehicles up to your policy limits. For example, your liability insurance would pay for damages caused to other cars or properties. Review your insurance policy to get a clear picture of your coverages and policy limits. In case of questions, talk with your insurance agent or contact your primary auto insurance's customer service line.</p> <p>Second, many credit cards offer secondary coverage for theft or damage to the rental vehicle. Secondary coverage means that after filing a claim with your primary insurance, the secondary insurance picks up fees, such as deductibles, loss-of-use charges, and towing costs. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">13 Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>To skip rental car insurance, stick to cars that meet the coverage limits and requirements of your primary car insurance and credit card. For example, some cards won't cover rental cars over $50,000 in value or with rental periods of over 30 days.</p> <h2>2. Extended Warranty</h2> <p>When you drop a couple grand on that brand new laptop, you don't even hesitate to accept that extended warranty insurance. But if you'd read the fine print on your credit card terms, you would have found out that you were already covered. Most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">credit cards offer extended warranties</a> for an extra year.</p> <p>Consumer Reports indicates that when breakdowns occur during <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2011/02/nine-more-reasons-to-skip-the-extended-warranty/index.htm">extended warranty periods</a>, the average repair cost for appliances is about the same as the average price for that warranty. This means that you're better off sticking with the free extended warranty from your credit card.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Just remember that to qualify for the extended warranty from your credit card company, you need to put the entire purchase amount on the card.</p> <h2>3. Collision Coverage for Old Cars</h2> <p>Talking about car insurance, here is another one that may be unnecessary.</p> <p>Let's imagine that you own a car with a Kelley Blue Book value of $2,500 and that your collision coverage is $500 per year.That's 20% of your vehicle's value for one year of coverage! If you were to wreck your car and receive a total loss settlement, the most that you would receive is $2,000 (assuming a $500 deductible). Is this worth it?</p> <p>This is a bad deal no matter how you see it. It gets even worse as the collision deductible gets higher, or the vehicle's cash value gets lower. Depending on your financial situation, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">dropping collision coverage</a> for your old car may be a good idea. On the other hand, never drop your auto liability insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Take what you would use on collision coverage and put it in a savings fund for your next car purchase.</p> <h2>4. Specified Disease Insurance</h2> <p>If you have a family history of a particular genetic disorder or are at risk for a terminal disease, you may lose sleep over the potential financial blow that might be coming someday. Most specified disease insurance writers claim that this kind of policy is worth it because it will cover expenses not reimbursed by your primary health insurer, such as out-of-pocket medical costs, child and household help charges, and experimental treatment expenses.</p> <p>The reality is that you may be already covered. The Affordable Healthcare Act ensures that most insurance plans cover the health care that <a href="http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002562-pdf.pdf">cancer patients and survivors</a> might need. Current legislation requires that all plans sold in health care marketplaces must cover essential health benefits, including screenings, treatments, and follow-up care of cancer and other types of diseases. If you're concerned about a specific disease, find out your available options for coverage through your <a href="http://www.healthcare.gov">state's health care marketplace</a>.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Get peace of mind through a comprehensive plan that covers your illness and skip the specified disease insurance.</p> <h2>5. Life Insurance for Children</h2> <p>This is a very sensitive topic. As a father of two handsome and smart boys, I will do everything in my power to provide them health, stability, and wellbeing. Buying life insurance for children doesn't make sense because they are not the main breadwinners in the family. In most scenarios, your children are your dependents, not the other way around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-and-why-to-buy-life-insurance">How and Why to Buy Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>Life insurance for children would only make sense if you're dependent on your young children for income. Even under these circumstances, some parents may feel uncomfortable signing up their children for life insurance.</p> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>If you're concerned that you wouldn't be able to cover the potential funeral expenses of your children, then create an emergency fund savings or investment account to cover those expenses. That way, you're covered in case of need and you have a head start for a potential college savings fund for your children. Consult your financial advisor to determine which is the right choice.</p> <h2>6. Private Mortgage Insurance</h2> <p>Private mortgage insurance, better known as PMI, is meant to cover any money owed to your lender in case you default on your mortgage. This insurance is not meant to cover you at all. PMI is required by law for homebuyers with down payments less than 20% of the sale price of the property. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-don-t-need-mortgage-life-insurance?ref=seealso">Why You Don't Need Mortgage Life Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There are three reasons why PMI isn't worth it:</p> <ul> <li>The average PMI payment ranges from 0.5% to 1% of the total loan value. The small percentage can be deceiving. In 2014, the <a href="http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-card-data/average-credit-card-debt-household/">average U.S. mortgage debt</a> was $155,192. Assuming a 1% PMI, the <a href="http://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/07/avoid_pmi.asp">average PMI payment</a> in 2014 was about $1,551. That money would be better used as a contribution to your retirement account or payment to credit card debt.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>PMI payments may not be tax deductible. Families with over <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html#en_US_2014_publink1000296058">$109,000 adjusted gross income</a> ($54,500 if married filing separately) per year can't deduct PMI payments on their tax declarations.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>PMI may be cancelled. Under the <a href="https://www.fdic.gov/regulations/compliance/manual/pdf/V-5.1.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>, you can request your lender terminate your PMI when your loan value reaches 78% of the original market value of the secured property. Keep in mind that there are several requirements, such as no junior liens and no dramatic market value swings. Plan ahead, work on improving your credit history, and make mortgage payments on time within the last two years, so that your lender doesn't come up with any &quot;buts&quot; to your request.</li> </ul> <h3>What to Do Instead</h3> <p>Save up for a 20% down payment on your property and skip private mortgage insurance altogether.</p> <p>For those with a high credit score, another option for avoiding PMI may be available: an 80-10-10 piggyback loan. Under this type of loan, a bank offers you a mortgage for 80% of the home value, and a second mortgage or home equity line of credit (HELOC) for 10% of the home value. This way you're able to come up with a 20% down payment but only with 10% out of pocket. Consult your local bank to determine your eligibility for a piggyback loan, find out terms (e.g. some banks may offer 80-5-15 or 80-15-5 piggyback loans), and figure out if a piggyback loan is right for you.</p> <p><em>What are some insurances that you wished you had never signed up for?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-insuring-these-6-things-could-bankrupt-you">Not Insuring These 6 Things Could Bankrupt You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-life-insurance">How Long Does It Take to Get Life Insurance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-life-insurance-policy-for-cold-hard-cash">Selling Your Life Insurance Policy for Cold, Hard Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance car insurance health costs life insurance pmi warranties Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:00:10 +0000 Damian Davila 1370391 at http://www.wisebread.com 14 Things Insurance Agents Don't Want You to Know http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior-insurance-178525693-small.jpg" alt="senior insurance" title="senior insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Ignorance is bliss.</p> <p>The less that you know about how insurance works, the happier insurance agents are. As friendly as geckos, generals, cavemen, and ducks may look on TV, you shouldn't forget that insurance is a multi-billion dollar industry. These companies are out there to make money. It is the job of insurance agents to make as much as they can, too.</p> <p>Here are 14 things that insurance agents don't want you to know.</p> <h2>General Tips</h2> <p>Let's start with some tips that apply to several types of insurance.</p> <h3>1. Non-Smokers Pay Less</h3> <p>Non-smokers pay less than smokers for any type of insurance, including car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance. If you don't see a non-smoker discount listed on your policy, call your company and ask about it. Usual discounts for non-smokers range from 5% to 15%.</p> <h3>2. Quick Settlements Are Often Not the Best Deal</h3> <p>A quick settlement offer is never a good sign. This means that you are entitled to a payout, but the insurance agent is aware that if you look into it, you could get more. Remember that insurance companies are for-profit, so don't fall for those &quot;get on with your life&quot; and &quot;put this tragedy behind you&quot; comments. Take the time to carefully review a settlement offer before you accept it.</p> <h3>3. Payouts Can Be Extremely Slow</h3> <p>The airline insurance industry is an example of how slow insurance payouts can be. Lawyers are speculating that the litigation for <a href="http://fortune.com/2014/05/01/the-big-money-surprise-about-malaysia-airlines-flight-370/">Malaysia Airlines flight MH370</a> could take five years, with some families waiting up to 10 years for compensation. Airline insurance litigation in the U.S. can be complex as different states have different caps on damages for victims, so lawyers battle to file suits in states that benefits their clients. For example, in 1949 an <a href="http://ghostsofdc.org/2012/02/27/planes-collide-near-national-airport-killing-55-d-c-loses-home-rule-advocate/">Eastern Airlines plane</a> was cut in half. One half fell in Virginia, where then the cap was set at $15,000, and the other on Washington, D.C., where there is no cap.</p> <h3>4. Low, Low Premiums Can Hide Real Costs</h3> <p>Some insurance agents present you a quote so low that you won't believe your eyes. The reason that the quote is so low is that you would be opting for high deductibles and low coverage limits. These cookie-cutter policies may not only be a bad fit for you, but also end up costing you a lot in case of a claim.</p> <p>To avoid falling for a low-ball price and inappropriate insurance, compare apples to apples by requesting a quote for a policy with the exact same features. Take a second look at any quote that is way below the price of the others.</p> <h2>Car Insurance</h2> <p>Don't fall for cute mascots and look deeper into the coverages for those policies.</p> <h3>5. Credit Score Is a Major Criteria</h3> <p>Not used by just money lending institutions, credit scores provide insurance companies a look at your credit history as a predictor of potential payouts. The FTC also agrees that <a href="http://www.ftc.gov/reports/credit-based-insurance-scores-impacts-consumers-automobile-insurance-report-congress-federal">credit scores are effective predictors</a> of risk for auto insurance policies. This is why insurance agents request your social security number &mdash; so that they can pull up your credit report.</p> <p>Despite the validation by the FTC, this practice has been labeled as discriminatory by many consumer advocacy groups. Those struggling with debt or starting to build their credit history are hit with another big bill. This is why the states of California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts have prohibited car insurance companies from using credit-based insurance scores. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-improve-your-credit-score?ref=seealso">How to Improve Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <h3>6. If You Move or Change Insurance, You Get a Refund</h3> <p>It is a good practice to pay your car premiums in a lump-sum payment because you prevent insurance agents from tacking on a &quot;convenience fee&quot; to smaller payments. However, this doesn't mean that they have all of your money for good. They have to earn it. Your lump sum payment covers several months, so if you have to move to another state, the insurance company owes you a refund for the unused months.</p> <p>Make sure to check the fine print on your policy before cancelling. Some companies may have an early termination fee or require a 30-days notice. Also, plan to have new insurance already in place when the old one is done.</p> <h3>7. &quot;Optional Coverages&quot; May Be Necessary</h3> <p>Insurance agents have to meet sales quotas. Sometimes they may suggest to leave certain &quot;optional coverages,&quot; such as underinsured motorist coverage, to lower your quote and get you to sign.</p> <p>For example, residents of California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Louisiana are not mandated to get coverage for underinsured drivers. Still, it is a good idea to get it. Across the U.S. about <a href="http://www.insurance-research.org/sites/default/files/downloads/IRCUM2011_042111.pdf">one in seven drivers</a> is uninsured. But in some states, such as Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Tennessee, the estimated percentage of underinsured motorists is 24% and above.</p> <p>If you are the sole breadwinner in your family, does it make sense to risk the chance of a huge, unexpected bill?</p> <h3>8. You Don't Have to Speak to the Other Guy's Claims Adjuster</h3> <p>Just like in those cop dramas, &quot;you have the right to remain silent and everything you say may be used against you in a court of law.&quot; In the case of a car accident, the claims adjuster from the other party might claim that she &quot;must&quot; have your recorded statement or &quot;requires&quot; your medical records.</p> <p>Don't cave in to these requests, unless ordered by a court or other authority, because the claims adjuster is trying to gather evidence against you. Even your most innocent comment could be twisted as an attempt to delay or deny your claim.</p> <h3>9. &quot;Captive Agents&quot; Cannot Offer You the Best Deal</h3> <p>For the next 30 seconds, write down all the car insurance companies that you can think of. Once the time is up, count how many you got. Three? Five? Ten?</p> <p>Here is some food for thought: There are about <a href="http://www.cheapcarinsurancequotes.com/car-insurance-companies/">100 car insurance companies</a> in the U.S. By only looking up the quotes from two or three companies, you're decreasing your chances of getting the best possible price for your insurance. On top of that, an insurance agent from a company can offer you only options that that company sells. Don't fall for their online comparison tables because those quotes are not accurate &mdash; they are just estimates. The final price can only be achieved by considering your credit score, driving history, and other factors.</p> <p>The easiest way to cover the most ground is to work with an independent insurance agent. She represents several insurance companies, so she is not limited to offer you products from a single company.</p> <h3>10. Rental Car Insurance May Be Unnecessary</h3> <p>Check what your policy has to say about car rentals. You may be surprised that your car policy may provide sufficient coverages. Also, some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">credit cards</a> offer rental car insurance when using them as form of payment.</p> <p>Before you rent a car the next time, make sure to have read the contracts from your existing car insurance and credit card(s). Remember that personal auto insurance often doesn't cover rentals for business use.</p> <h2>Home Insurance</h2> <p>Home sweet &quot;appropriately insured at the right price&quot; home.</p> <h3>11. Force-Placed Insurance Is Expensive</h3> <p>While home insurance is necessary, it doesn't need to be prohibitively expensive. Some banks will try to issue you a Force-Placed insurance, which is very expensive and provides the bank a kickback from an insurance company. This practice is not only unfair to the homebuyer, but also illegal in the eyes of the <a href="http://www.consumerfinance.gov/regulations/2013-real-estate-settlement-procedures-act-regulation-x-and-truth-in-lending-act-regulation-z-mortgage-servicing-final-rules/#date">Consumer Financial Protection Bureau</a>.</p> <p>Make sure to read all letters from your lender because they have to provide a written notice in case of a Force-Place insurance policy. If the bank is trying to force you into a insurance policy, find an alternative policy that meets the required coverages (e.g. hazard insurance, replacement cost) but at a lower price. If you are able to find an appropriate policy, contact your lender to cancel the forced policy immediately.</p> <h3>12. Little Known Home Insurance Coverages</h3> <p>Your home insurance policy may be stronger than you think. Here are some lesser-known coverages:</p> <ul> <li>If you're out of power for several days due to a natural disaster and your refrigerator is full of food that goes bad, you may be able to claim compensation.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Your children's property is protected by your homeowner's insurance as long they are living in campus dorms.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Home updates required by law, such as a storm cellar, may be covered by your home insurance.</li> </ul> <p>Check your home insurance policy for more details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso">8 Surprising Things Covered by Home Insurance</a>)</p> <h3>13. Private Mortgage Insurance Can Be Removed</h3> <p>The <a href="http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/supmanual/cch/hpa.pdf">Homeowner's Protection Act</a>requires homebuyers, who finance more than 80% of a new home's value, to purchase Private Mortgage insurance (PMI). This is an expense that you have to keep for several years. The good news is that once your loan-to-value ratio is close to 20%, you can request your lender to remove PMI from your mortgage.</p> <p>Here is an overview of requirements:</p> <ul> <li>No second mortgages on your home</li> <li>Current on all payments by the anticipated cancellation date</li> <li>No late payments within the last two years</li> <li>Good credit score</li> <li>No dramatic market value change of home</li> </ul> <p>Finally, here is a type of policy that is so easy for insurance agents to sell that it deserves a mention of its own.</p> <h3>14. Disease-Specific Insurance</h3> <p>The slight mention of AIDS and cancer are enough to send a shiver down anyone's spine. This is why policies for these diseases are an easy sell for insurance agents. By preying on your fear, they get you to hand over cash for something that you may never use.</p> <p>If you have a health plan or life insurance, you may be already covered for these diseases. By duplicating the coverages, you're just wasting money. If a specific disease runs in your family, get a comprehensive health plan that includes treatment for that specific disease.</p> <p><em>What are some other things insurance agents don't want you to know?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren&#039;t Worth It -- And What to Do Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dangerous-neighborhoods-are-safer-than-commuting">Dangerous neighborhoods are safer than commuting</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-insuring-these-6-things-could-bankrupt-you">Not Insuring These 6 Things Could Bankrupt You</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Real Estate and Housing car insurance homeowner's insurance insurance life insurance Mon, 23 Jun 2014 09:00:05 +0000 Damian Davila 1145900 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car-4025979-small.jpg" alt="woman driving" title="woman driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="179" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on ways to lower car insurance rates, the best mobile apps for personal finance, and traits common of most millionaires.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://thirtysixmonths.com/proactive-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates/">Proactive Ways to Lower Car Insurance Rates</a> — Installing an anti-theft device or taking a safety course can help you lower your car insurance rates. [Thirty Six Months]</p> <p><a href="http://bobbyfinance.com/2013/10/01/the-5-best-mobile-apps-for-personal-finance/">The 5 Best Mobile Apps for Personal Finance</a> — Have you downloaded the Venmo or MoneyKeeperPRO apps onto your phone yet? [BobbyFinance]</p> <p><a href="http://moremoneythanmonth.com/blog/7-traits-common-millionaires/">7 Traits common of most millionaires</a> — Did you know that most millionaires believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status? [More Money Than Month]</p> <p><a href="http://thehappyhousewife.com/frugal-living/5-ways-to-save-on-kids-costumes/">5 Ways to Save on Kids Costumes</a> — Organizing a costume swap can help you save money on your kids' costumes this Halloween. [The Happy Housewife]</p> <p><a href="http://theprudentpatron.com/100-birthday-freebies/">100+ Birthday Freebies</a> — If your birthday is coming up, check out this amazing list of freebies you can get on your special day! [The Prudent Patron]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/how-to-save-money-on-car-tires/">How to Save Money on Car Tires</a> — To save money on car tires, extend the life of your tires by rotating them. [Bargain Babe]</p> <p><a href="http://freefrombroke.com/free-online-checking-accounts/">Free Online Checking Accounts - Why Pay More Fees Than You Have To</a> — If you have a free online checking account, beware of minimum balance fees or transaction fees. [Free From Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/09/money-101-how-to-create-a-budget.html">Money 101: How to Create a Budget</a> — To create a budget, start by tracking your spending for 30 days. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Remove-Wrinkles-Without-Iron-31999801">Never Iron Again! 6 Ways to Have Wrinkle-Free Clothes Without Ironing</a> — Shower steam or wrinkle-removing sprays are good ways to get the wrinkles out of your clothes when you don't have an iron handy. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/6-opportunities-for-quantity-time-with-your-teenager">6 Opportunities for Quantity Time With Your Teenager</a> — Take advantage of the opportunity to talk to your teen when you are in the car with him or her. [Parenting Squad]</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-ways-to-lower-car-insurance-rates">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance best money tips car insurance insurance rates Wed, 02 Oct 2013 10:00:03 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 994523 at http://www.wisebread.com The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2011_car_insurance.jpg" alt="Toyota Sienna" title="Toyota Sienna" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you&rsquo;re thinking about buying a new vehicle, make sure you&rsquo;ve done your homework about average <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">auto insurance</a> rates. According to <a href="http://www.insure.com/car-insurance/car-insurance-comparison.html">Insure.com</a>, the most expensive car to insure in 2011 was the Mercedes SL65 AMG, a sporty, two-door convertible that has the highest chance of getting in a car crash. Insurance companies are more likely to lower your insurance rates when they trust your chances of getting into a crash &mdash; or having your car stolen &mdash; are very low. This is why SUVs, minivans, and other non-sporty vehicles continue to rank at the top of the &ldquo;cheapest cars to insure&rdquo; list year after year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">The Joy of Buying a New Car: 9 Car Buying Tips</a>)</p> <p>Insure.com gathers data on national average annual premiums for different makes and models and ranks them based on premium price. For 2011, the top ten cheapest cars to insure were:</p> <h2>1. Chrysler Town and Country</h2> <p>The average annual premium for this vehicle was just $1,091.80 in 2011. The popular family minivan has been around since the late 80s, and the latest models have advanced safety features and high safety ratings.</p> <h2>2. Toyota Sienna</h2> <p>With an average annual premium of $1,100.66, this is another family minivan with high safety ratings, and the third generation Sienna was the first to receive a &ldquo;Top Safety Pick&rdquo; award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.</p> <h2>3. Toyota Sienna LE</h2> <p>This is one of the trim levels available on the Sienna minivans, and it boasts a V6 engine with all-wheel drive. More control and power means increased safety on the road. The average annual premium was just $1,108 for this version of the Sienna.</p> <h2>4. Honda Odyssey LX</h2> <p>The fourth-generation minivan available in 2011 boasts a larger body and lower roofline. It also has ventilated front disc brakes and six-speed automatic transmission for a smoother ride. The average annual premium for this vehicle was $1,115 in 2011.</p> <h2>5. Nissan Murano SL</h2> <p>Probably the sportiest crossover vehicle you&rsquo;ll find that commands low insurance rates, this stylish ride offers plenty of comfort and a full range of advanced safety features. The average annual premium was $1,127.89 in 2011.</p> <h2>6. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport</h2> <p>This SUV boasts 40% more horsepower and 10% more torque than other Jeeps on the road, but still has the classic Jeep styling. It&rsquo;s one of the best 4x4s on the market, and the average insurance rates are just $1,131.27.</p> <h2>7. Honda Odyssey EX</h2> <p>Another minivan to consider for those family outings and road trips, this reliable vehicle tops the &ldquo;safe&rdquo; list for many insurance companies. The average annual premium was $1,138.16 in 2011.</p> <h2>8. Toyota Sienna V6</h2> <p>The V6 engine versions of the Toyota Sienna are also a top choice for insurers, since these models promise more power and control among other minivans of a similar size. The average annual insurance premium was $1,143 in 2011.</p> <h2>9. Ford Escape XLS</h2> <p>This SUV is a popular alternative to the standard minivan and is also among the most affordable to insure. The average annual premium in 2011 was just $1,150.</p> <h2>10. Toyota Highlander</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re only interested in foreign vehicles, consider purchasing the Toyota Highlander. While it may be a gas guzzler, it&rsquo;s also among the more attractive alternatives to a minivan, and it&rsquo;s loaded with deluxe amenities and safety features. The average annual insurance premium was $1,154 in 2011.</p> <h2>Getting the Lowest Insurance Rates</h2> <p>When you&rsquo;re looking for the lowest insurance rates, stick with the practical, less-flashy vehicles, and you&rsquo;ll probably be looking at a lower-than-average insurance premium. Don&rsquo;t forget you can also reduce insurance costs by purchasing a vehicle that has extra safety equipment and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">anti-theft devices</a> installed. If you&rsquo;re getting your car insurance coverage with the same insurance company that you have homeowners insurance with, you might also qualify for a discount.</p> <p>Keep in mind that all insurance companies will take the type of vehicle you drive, your driving history, your credit score, and other factors into account when calculating your premium. The above averages from Insure.com are estimates for the average driver and the actual insurance premium you end up paying could be higher or lower based on where you live, how often you drive, and several other factors.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance Buying a new car car insurance Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:48:16 +0000 Sabah Karimi 824535 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Myths About Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-myths-about-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/red-mustang.jpg" alt="Red car" title="Red car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Picking out the right type of insurance can be complicated enough, so make sure you&rsquo;re not believing one of the many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a> myths when making your final decision. Here are five myths about car insurance, debunked. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">6 Mistakes to&nbsp;Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance</a>)</p> <h3>1. Expensive Cars Command Higher Insurance Rates</h3> <p>While it&rsquo;s true that sports cars and luxury vehicles that have a higher risk of being broken into or stolen typically cost more to insure, the fact that these same cars are more expensive really has nothing to do with the insurance rates. Your insurance company will take your vehicle&rsquo;s loss history, how much it usually costs to repair your vehicle, and several other factors into account when calculating <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.goinsurancerates.com/r/4e61285d87/?subid=809144">your insurance rate</a>. If you live in a high-crime neighborhood and drive your expensive car long distances on a daily basis, you can expect to pay a higher-than-average insurance rate.</p> <h3>2. Since I&rsquo;m a Female, My Insurance Rate Will Be Higher</h3> <p>Even though <a href="http://www.realclearscience.com/2011/07/09/women_more_likely_to_cause_traffic_accidents_241996.html">statistics show</a> that female drivers are more likely to get in a car accident than their male counterparts, insurance companies don&rsquo;t use this as a factor when determining insurance rates. What they <i>do</i> consider is the woman&rsquo;s driving history, the type of vehicle she&rsquo;s driving, and how much she drives &mdash; just like they do with their male customers. There is no difference in insurance rates based specifically on gender. You just need to make sure you have a clean driving history and are reporting your annual miles accurately to qualify for a better rate.</p> <h3>3. My Insurance Company Will Pay for Property Stolen From My Vehicle</h3> <p>Personal property, including cell phones, handbags, laptops, e-readers, and any other types of electronics are not covered under an auto insurance policy. In some cases, these items will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy, but you will need to file a separate claim. Remember to remove all pricey personal items from your vehicle and always <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/disguise-your-stuff-to-prevent-car-break-ins">keep them well out of sight</a> of any passersby. These can be a costly loss on your end and in some cases, can also compromise your identity.</p> <h3>4. I Already Paid for Insurance, So I Don&rsquo;t Need to Buy Another Policy for My New Car</h3> <p>You will always need to get an entirely new policy when you insure a different vehicle. Even if you own an insured vehicle but aren&rsquo;t planning on driving it, or you just paid for insurance on an old vehicle and decided to buy a different vehicle, your insurance company will need to run the numbers based on your new car&rsquo;s VIN and issue you a new policy. Your old policy can be canceled until you stop driving the car or authorize no coverage, or you can continue coverage until you sell the vehicle. Make sure you go over these details with your insurance agent and always inform them when you are making a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-joy-of-buying-a-new-car-9-car-buying-tips">new car purchase</a>.</p> <h3>5. My Red Car Commands Higher-Than-Average Insurance Rates</h3> <p>This myth has been around for decades. Insurance companies don&rsquo;t take the color of the car into account when determining insurance rates but will take the make and model of the vehicle, how often you drive the car, and your driving history into account. The fact that your vehicle might be a red <i>sports</i> car instead of a red family sedan could have an impact on your insurance rate, because the sports car may be at a higher risk of being vandalized or stolen. So, if you want to get that red car you&rsquo;ve had your eye on all these years, go ahead and do it without worrying about a drastic increase in insurance. <a rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="https://www.goinsurancerates.com/r/4e61285d87/?subid=809144">Your final insurance rate</a> will be determined by several other factors.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance myths new car women Tue, 06 Dec 2011 11:00:21 +0000 Sabah Karimi 809144 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Shopping for Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/driving_backwards.jpg" alt="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" title="Man looking over his shoulder while driving" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="129" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Shopping around for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a> can help you find the best possible deal and even help you negotiate for a better rate. You need to do more than just focus on the rates the insurance company has quoted, however. Asking some critical questions and taking a good look at your coverage options will help you find an insurance policy that truly meets your needs &mdash; and also helps you avoid some costly mistakes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-cheap-auto-insurance-for-young-drivers">How to Get Cheap Auto Insurance for Young Drivers</a>)</p> <p>Here are six mistakes to avoid when shopping for car insurance.</p> <h3>1. Not Knowing How Much Coverage You Need</h3> <p>If you are changing auto insurance providers, want to add a new vehicle, or are moving out of state and need to purchase insurance, take a good look at the coverage options and your state's minimum requirements. Buying excess coverage is a common mistake &mdash; especially if you are a new customer and have been pressured into signing for a policy by an insurance agent.</p> <h3>2. Relying <em>Only</em> on Online Shopping Comparison Sites</h3> <p>While most of the major insurance providers are listed on online insurance quote sites, some are not, and these companies might be able to offer a better rate. Make sure you&rsquo;re aware of all of the insurance agents or companies in your area, so you&rsquo;re not relying solely on the online shopping comparison sites for the best quote. You just need to set up a phone call with an insurance agent and provide some basic information about your driving history, your vehicle, and insurance needs; and the agent can extend a quote over the phone within minutes. If you submit your information on an online shopping comparison site, you may need to wait a few days for an agent to get back to you, and the &ldquo;instant quotes&rdquo; may not be anywhere near what you will end up paying.</p> <h3>3. Forgetting to Factor in a Big Umbrella Policy</h3> <p>If you purchased an umbrella policy in the past, make sure you&rsquo;re able to purchase the same level of extra coverage with your new insurance provider. An umbrella policy provides extra coverage when your liability coverage ends. If you have a considerable amount of assets and want to avoid a costly lawsuit, make sure you have the option to purchase an umbrella policy. Most insurers will charge extra for this policy, so you&rsquo;ll need to factor this in when requesting a quote.</p> <h3>4. Not Asking About Discounts</h3> <p>While some discounts are applied automatically, others require a fairly extensive review process to determine eligibility and will require some action on your part. If you&rsquo;ve taken a remedial driving course, started working from home, or switched employers, make sure your insurance company knows about it. Not all discounts that you are eligible for may be advertised on the company website, and the insurance agent might not even bring them up during your first meeting. Ask about a &ldquo;good driver&rdquo; discount, employee discounts, and other incentives that might bring down your insurance rates.</p> <h3>5. Not Reviewing Your Driving Record</h3> <p>If you are planning to switch insurance providers, you&rsquo;ll need to fill out a formal application and include details about your driving history. Make sure you&rsquo;re providing accurate information about your driving record, or you could be guilty of insurance fraud. If you can&rsquo;t recall all of your traffic violations and tickets from the past five years, just get in touch with your state&rsquo;s department of motor vehicles and request an official copy of your driving record. The DMV will have a long list of all violations and reports on file and can pull the information you need fairly quickly.</p> <h3>6. Ignoring Payment Policies</h3> <p>While most insurance companies offer convenient payment options and even online bill pay, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-cant-you-ever-make-on-time-payments">late payment fees</a> and other charges vary from company to company. Don&rsquo;t forget to ask what the payment policy is, when payments are typically due, and about discounts for paying the entire balance upfront. These small details aren&rsquo;t always listed on the company&rsquo;s website and may only be revealed when you see the final contract.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sabah-karimi">Sabah Karimi</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-mistakes-to-avoid-when-shopping-for-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance Mistakes reduce bills Tue, 29 Nov 2011 10:36:40 +0000 Sabah Karimi 798281 at http://www.wisebread.com Repair the Car or Spend the Cash? http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fender_bender.jpg" alt="Fender bender" title="Fender bender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the past few months, I've been seeing cars in various states of disrepair. Big dents, dings, damaged windows and doors, bumpers scraping along the ground, you name it. And it got me scratching my head and wondering...are people choosing to take the insurance money and spend it on something other than the car repair? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/remove-car-dents-quickly-and-cheaply">Remove Car Dents Quickly and Cheaply</a>)</p> <p>Now obviously, some of these cars were just old and in need of some major TLC. But in the company car park alone I've seen several cars that are from 2007 or after, and they have big bad dents and other major pieces of bodywork damage.</p> <p>Clearly, these cars were involved in some kind of accident. Be it with another car, a lamp post, a wall, or an angry Transformer, something went wrong. Knowing that most good citizens have auto insurance coverage, I also know that these people would have received some kind of payment to have the car fixed whether it was their fault or not. I got sideswiped a few years ago, and the car took $4,500 worth of damage. I was given two options...choosing a recommended repair shop to deal directly with my auto insurance company, and I would pay the deductible. Or I could get a check based on the price the adjuster believed it would cost to have repaired, minus the deductible.</p> <p>At the time, I chose the first option. I needed the car fixed immediately. I wasn't ready to start calling around for competitive bids, and I also knew that the place chosen by my auto insurance company would be held accountable by them if the repair was not done well.</p> <p>But I got to thinking. I wonder...</p> <h3>How many say &quot;I can live with the dent; I'd much rather have the cash&quot;?</h3> <p>It makes all kinds of sense to me. Some people don't care about the resale value of the car or how it looks. It's a mode of transport that gets them from home to work, shopping, or the ball game. It's no big deal if it's not perfect, and a few thousand dollars is way more important than removing a dent from the door or fixing a crunched-up bumper.</p> <p>After that thought, I noticed damaged cars everywhere. I counted 23 in the parking lot at Target last week, and it was not a busy shopping day. True, some may have been very recently damaged and awaiting repair, but I saw a couple of major dents that had been very poorly spray-painted and a bumper that had been freshly covered with stickers. Clearly, these were not people who took the insurance money for the car repair. They probably kept the cash.</p> <h3>Is it legal to keep the cash, and are there consequences?</h3> <p>This gets us into some muddy waters. I did some digging on several auto repair sites, forums, insurance blogs, and so on. It seems that many people do, in fact, opt to cash the check and leave their vehicle in a state of disrepair. But this does have some ramifications.</p> <p>First, if you don't own the car outright (and that's a large majority of us), then the bank is the lienholder, and the money for the repair is to keep the car in good condition until the loan has been paid off. They want the car to be repaired, and they have every right to see that you make good on the repair. What's more, if the check is made out to both you and the lienholder, and you cash it, you could be liable for fraud charges and even jail time!</p> <p>If you own the car outright, it's much easier to decide to take the cash and spend it on bills, a new TV, or anything else. I have read several stories on <a href="http://www.autorepairserviceguidemarietta.com/blog/auto-a-c-repair/can-i-cash-and-keep-the-money-from-an-auto-insurance-co-made-out-to-me-and-the-lien-holder">Auto Repair Service Guide</a> of people who did just that:</p> <p>Thorax (a username, I believe) said, &quot;Yes you can do that.. I got about 800 for a scratch on my bumper, you couldn&rsquo;t really even see it unless you knew it was there or got up close&hellip; I decided to say screw it and keep the money&hellip;&quot;</p> <p>And Young Ian also chimed in, saying, &quot;Yep, you can cash it. My mom did the same thing some guy hit our salvage title prizm and she got like a thousand dollars for it. It was mainly cosmetic, she used it to pay bills. We still have a pretty ugly side, but she got a thousand bucks!&quot;</p> <h3>Now, over to you...</h3> <p>If you get in an accident and your car receives cosmetic damage, do you get it <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-find-a-reputable-mechanic">repaired</a>, or do you take the money and run? In these tough economic times, I can certainly see why many people would go for the latter option.</p> <p><em>References:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.ehow.com/info_8254420_do-check-getting-car-fixed.html"><em>Do&nbsp;I&nbsp;Have to Spend My Insurance Check on&nbsp;Getting the Car Fixed?</em></a><em><br /> </em></li> <li><a href="http://www.autoinsurancetips.com/auto-insurance-claim-checks-repair-car-or-keep-cash"><em>Repair the Car or Keep the Cash?</em></a><em><br /> </em></li> <li><a href="http://www.carljohnsonautoservice.com/car-repair/do-i-have-to-repair-my-car-or-can-i-keep-the-insurance-cashcheck"><em>Do&nbsp;I Have to Repair the Car or Can I Keep the Insurance Cash/Check?</em></a></li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance car insurance car repairs spend insurance money Fri, 15 Jul 2011 10:36:22 +0000 Paul Michael 620800 at http://www.wisebread.com Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/car trouble.jpg" alt="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" title="Mechanical Breakdown Insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="162" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Car trouble is so often the worst kind of trouble.</p> <p>Few things can rip a hole in your budget so rapidly and so thoroughly. A new transmission (~$2,500) or rack and pinion (~$1,000) can wipe out a rainy day fund in one cruel clank or clunk. And it's these types of unexpected problems that make mechanical breakdown insurance so tantalizing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on&nbsp;Car Insurance</a>)</p> <p>The question, as with most forms of insurance &mdash; is the gamble worth it?</p> <h3>What Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>Mechanical breakdown insurance (MBI) can insulate consumers against big-ticket car repair costs. This is not an extended warranty or anything of the sort. Instead, this is a typically inexpensive form of insurance that is subject to the same regulatory controls as other insurance products.</p> <p>These policies don't cover defects or issues that arise from standard maintenance issues, but they can be a financial lifeline if catastrophe strikes. Consumers tend to pay reasonable premiums (anywhere from $75 and up) and have deductibles ranging from $50 to $500 or more, depending on the details of the plan and the age of the automobile. Insurers favor consumers with newer vehicles or leased models. Those with older cars might be unable to procure MBI.</p> <p>Some plans also cover things like towing, car rental, and trip interruption. Terms can range from a year to more than a half dozen, or span tens of thousands of miles. Some policies are even transferable, which car owners can use as a selling point when the time comes to unload their vehicles.</p> <p>&ldquo;We all have cars, and we all know they end up breaking down,&rdquo; said Hank Coleman, managing editor at <a href="http://www.insurancequotes.org">InsuranceQuotes.org</a>. &ldquo;Insurance is always a hedge against future problems, and MBI can be a really savvy investment depending on your car and your coverage options. There's few policies that can match the universal need that MBI is setup to cover.&rdquo;</p> <h3>How Does It Work?</h3> <p>While MBI has some built-in safeguards as a legitimate insurance product, consumers should still take great pains to ensure they're getting a policy that meets their unique needs and covers theirs concerns.</p> <p>Consumers should be able to take their ailing auto to a repair shop of their choice. Avoid policies that try to limit, qualify, or otherwise restrict decisions related to who completes repair work. There should also be clear language explaining that your deductible payments are for visits to the repair shop and not required for every single repair.</p> <p>Remember, too, that this is breakdown insurance. Car equipment that becomes defective because of normal wear and tear over time isn&rsquo;t covered. Unless you have a warranty or extended service agreement, things like brake pads, shocks, and other parts will require out-of-pocket outlays.</p> <p>And what about warranties? Newer automobiles may come with a manufacturer warranty or service agreement that all but eliminates the need for MBI. It&rsquo;s important to evaluate a potential policy in light of existing warranties and their expirations.</p> <h3>Why Get Mechanical Breakdown Insurance?</h3> <p>For some consumers, it might make more sense to simply tuck away a few extra dollars each month in an auto <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/figuring-the-size-of-your-emergency-fund">emergency fund</a>. Those who like having an added layer of protection can shop around for MBI. As an added bonus, those who purchase it when their car is new tend to enjoy lower rates as the years go on.</p> <p>In the end, though, it&rsquo;s typically one of those peace-of-mind purchases.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chris-birk">Chris Birk</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto repairs breakdowns car insurance Thu, 19 May 2011 10:24:32 +0000 Chris Birk 545426 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Ways to Save on Business Insurance Premiums http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums-scott-allen" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/money/article/12-ways-to-save-on-busine...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000014809695XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From an insurer&rsquo;s standpoint, every business is unique in the risk that it poses. In order to properly rate a risk, the insurance company must take many things into consideration in an attempt to determine the likelihood of a claim and if there is a claim, the severity of it. The following are the top factors that insurers consider that could cause a business to pay higher insurance premiums. These also represent your best opportunity to keep your insurance costs under control or even reduce them.</p> <h3>1. Loss History</h3> <p>Past claim history plays a major role in the insurance premiums of a business. The insurer will often consider a business that has had several small claims a greater risk than a business that has had one large claim, thus charging a higher premium. A business owner might be better off absorbing small losses and saving the insurance for larger claims.</p> <h3>2. Credit History</h3> <p>Although most insurance companies do not have the ability to apply credit scoring to commercial risks, they do often research the credit history of the company as well as the owners. A poor credit history could be a red flag to the insurer that the business owner is either financially irresponsible or more likely to file a claim since their finances might not be solid enough to absorb small losses on their own. Some insurance companies won&rsquo;t even consider a commercial applicant that has had a bankruptcy in the past. Cleaning up your personal credit and establishing solid business credit before adding coverage or changing insurance providers could provide substantial savings.</p> <h3>3. Driving History</h3> <p>For commercial auto policies, having employees with poor driving histories will result in higher rates unless the company agrees to exclude those drivers. This could come into play even on a package policy because many commercial package policies provide hired and non-owned auto coverage. You may want to consider this in your hiring practices.</p> <h3>4. Experience</h3> <p>The length of time the company has been in business is also taken into consideration. If it&rsquo;s a start-up business, the insurer will want to know how much experience the owner has in the same or similar business. If the owner is not experienced in the type of business they are starting, the insurer may apply a surcharge or even refuse to insure them. Having a partner or senior executive/manager with related experience can alleviate this.</p> <h3>5. Location</h3> <p>The location of the business is another important factor in the determination of rates. A business located in a high crime area or in a remote area not easily accessed by the fire department poses a higher risk of loss. Investigate the impact in your insurance premiums as part of your due diligence when considering a new location. You may be able to offset higher rent with lower insurance premiums.</p> <h3>6. Building Characteristics</h3> <p>If the building is older and has not had updates to major systems such as electrical, plumbing, heating, and the roof, the insurance company may apply a surcharge. A frame building will have higher rates than a brick building, and lack of protection systems such as fire alarms, a sprinkler system, and proper exits may even deem the building uninsurable with some companies.</p> <h3>7. Continuous Coverage</h3> <p>One of the most important things a business owner can do is carry adequate insurance and avoid a lapse or gaps in coverage. Prior cancellation for non-payment is especially unfavorably looked upon and could make the business ineligible for coverage with some insurance carriers. Keep this in mind if you ever get in a cash flow crunch and have to start prioritizing bill payments.</p> <h3>8. Safe Working Environment</h3> <p>Companies that do not provide a safe working environment for their employees and do not enforce safety rules are going to pay higher rates because their risk of injury to an employee or visitor is greater.</p> <h3>9. Employee Wellness</h3> <p>Although most group health plans don&rsquo;t require physicals and medical history for individual employees, insurers recognize that healthier employees cost them less, and they&rsquo;re willing to pass some of that savings on to employers who implement employee wellness programs. These may include offerings such as on-site exercise facilities, partially or fully subsidized gym memberships, stop-smoking programs, weight loss support groups, and more. While the costs may not be fully offset by reduced health premiums, they almost certainly will by reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved employee retention. Healthy employees are also more likely to be happy employees.</p> <h3>10. Use of Insured Subcontractors</h3> <p>The insurance company might require proof that the business owner only uses subcontractors who carry their own adequate insurance. This is because the business owner could be held liable for the subcontractors&rsquo; operations if they are uninsured, thus forcing the insurance company to provide insurance for which they are not collecting a premium.</p> <h3>11. Reporting Correct Information</h3> <p>Many business insurance policies are based upon annual sales and/or employee payroll.</p> <p>At inception of the policy, sales and payroll figures must be estimated for the next year. At the end of the policy period, an audit is performed to determine actual figures. If the figures were underestimated, whether or not by intention, additional premium will be due.</p> <h3>12. Ask Your Agent</h3> <p>Perhaps the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your insurance premiums is simply ask your agent. While they may make more money on higher premiums, they also want to keep your business, and telling you how to lower your costs is one of the most effective ways they can do that. If you haven&rsquo;t had that conversation with your agent recently, set up a call or meeting right away.</p> <p>While the exact formulas insurers use to calculate your premiums may be complex and somewhat mysterious, understanding some of the major factors insurers consider may provide you with multiple ways to save on your premiums.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/scott-allen">Scott Allen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/12-ways-to-save-on-business-insurance-premiums">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-kinds-of-insurance-that-arent-worth-it-and-what-to-do-instead">6 Kinds of Insurance That Aren&#039;t Worth It -- And What to Do Instead</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Small Business Resource Center business insurance car insurance employee benefits insurance premium small business Wed, 05 Jan 2011 17:24:41 +0000 Scott Allen 409104 at http://www.wisebread.com Mogi's Extended Vehicle Protection: Is it Worth It? http://www.wisebread.com/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beat up car.jpg" alt="Broken Down Car" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Over the weekend I saw a Mogi commercial for the first time and was intrigued: was this really something worth taking a look at or was it just another unnecessary product looking to take advantage of customers? After doing a little research, I found that Mogi offers a real product that some people may want to use& mdash; but it most definitely isn't for me.</p> <h3>What Is Mogi?</h3> <p>Mogi offers &quot;extended vehicle protection,&quot; which means it's a kind of car insurance for things like car parts and wear and tear. Traditional insurance will cover you for car accidents and things like that, but not if your brakes are shot or if your transmission fails. In exchange for a monthly payment, Mogi will cover you in case you have a busted johnson rod or some other ridiculous-sounding repair. Once your warranty expires, Mogi is one way of &quot;extending&quot; the service.</p> <h3>Do You Need It?</h3> <p>Probably not. Unless you have a LOT of issues with your car and are constantly feeding money into this or that repair (in which case you might need a new car altogether), then you may want to consider making a monthly payment for &quot;just in case&quot; stuff. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want is another bill to pay every month that only becomes &quot;worth it&quot; if something bad happens.</p> <p>It's not easy (or fun) <a href="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/2008/05/09/budget-breaking-dealing-with-the-unexpected/">dealing with the unexpected</a>, but more than likely you're better off tucking money away into your emergency fund.</p> <h3>Beware</h3> <p>Mogi's website concerns me. They don't give you any pricing information and if you want any additional info, they demand a phone number. A little bit of research uncovered some <a href="http://mogi.pissedconsumer.com/watch-out-for-mogi-20090722151341.html">unfavorable comments</a> about the company and their salespeople. Looks like they rely on getting people on the phone and then applying pressure via the hard sell.</p> <p>Regardless of how good or bad Mogi is or isn't, I'm curious what people think about paying a monthly fee for the peace of mind that if anything happens to your car you won't have to pay for it out of pocket.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mogis-extended-vehicle-protection-is-it-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car insurance extended vehical protection mogi Tue, 23 Mar 2010 13:00:03 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 5962 at http://www.wisebread.com It Pays to Be True to Your School: 5 Ways Your Alma Mater Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/it-pays-to-be-true-to-your-school-5-ways-your-alma-mater-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/it-pays-to-be-true-to-your-school-5-ways-your-alma-mater-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3608822025_cffc253e7c.jpg" alt="Graduation hat toss" title="Greenhills 09" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Depending on how college went for you, you were most likely either incredibly excited or incredibly sad about leaving campus. Either way, unless you've returned as faculty or staff, your association with your college probably ended just after graduation. And if you're like me, you let most of your alumni information sit unopened or filed straight to the trashcan, when it comes in the mail.</p> <p>With the economy still in a shambles and many people struggling to make ends meet, now may be the time to open some of those envelopes. Alumni associations are doing everything they can to make things better for graduates of their college during this difficult time. Amazingly enough, some of the savings are pretty substantial.</p> <h2>Insurance Discounts</h2> <p>Many universities have worked out deals with auto, home, life, medical and even pet insurance companies to help their alumni get a discount on these important purchases. While you may not necessarily save money by going through your former school, it's definitely worth checking out if you're shopping around for insurance.</p> <p>Make sure you follow all the instructions given by your school or the insurance company so you are eligible for this discount. Some companies will require you to send them an official transcript or show other proof that you are, in fact, an alum.</p> <h2>Gym Membership</h2> <p>Universities tend to have decent- to high-quality workout, gym, and swimming facilities, and will let alumni use these at a discounted rate. While you'll still usually have to pay, it won't be nearly as much as what the local gym will charge. Some schools will have restrictions on the hours during which alumni can use the facilities, but most will let you bring a friend (or a spouse) for a minimal extra cost.</p> <p>For alumni who no longer live in the area local to their schools, some universities have worked out deals with popular national fitness centers for discounted rates. Check with your alumni organization to see if they work with anyone near you.</p> <h2>Career Counseling</h2> <p>Each school's offerings to alumni in the career department will be different, but most offer, at least, access to a job board and a career development library. Some go much farther than that, offering their alum career counseling, placement services, career conferences, job fairs, and more.</p> <p>Even if you are happy in your current job and career, this might be something to check out. Many schools offer career aptitude testing, for a small fee, which can help you turn up ideas for making money on the side.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Travel Discounts</h2> <p>If you're looking for a discount on travel expenses, you may not need to look any farther than your alumni department. Depending on the school, they may have partnered with travel agencies, airlines, and/or cruise lines to get discounts for their alum.</p> <p>In addition to helping you get discounts on travel that you schedule yourself, your alumni department may schedule travel events, like cruises and tours, that you can take part in for a discounted fee. If this is how you like to travel, it could be a good chance to reconnect with some old friends.</p> <h2>Local and National Coupons</h2> <p>Most universities have worked out deals with local businesses for their students, staff, faculty, and alumni to receive discounts. These businesses can be anything from locally run restaurants to dry cleaners to pet stores and more. You may need to show an alumni card or purchase a special coupon book to be eligible for these, so be sure to check it out.</p> <p>In addition, many schools also have deals with national companies. Costco is popular, and many universities offer their alumni either discounted membership rates or special coupons once they've joined. If there is a local instance of a national chain near the school, chances are the school has hooked up with the company to provide discounts.</p> <p><strong>Have you saved money by working through your alma mater's alumni association? Tell us how.</strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/it-pays-to-be-true-to-your-school-5-ways-your-alma-mater-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/not-free-to-be-poor">Not free to be poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-dirty-details-of-traveling-full-time">14 Dirty Details of Traveling Full-Time</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/health-insurance-costs-too-high-alternative-not-pretty">Health Insurance Costs Too High? Alternative Not Pretty</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-travel-full-time-for-17000-a-year-or-less">How to Travel Full-Time for $17,000 a Year (or Less!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle alma mater car insurance health insurance Fri, 04 Dec 2009 15:00:09 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 3920 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3511128690_40182f6deb.jpg" alt="Car Crash" title="Car Crash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Auto insurance is one of those pesky, nagging things, almost like a tiny leech. It sucks money away and we're not even always aware of it, at least until we have to write another check. The bad news is, car insurance isn't avoidable. Most states have minimal amounts that you're required to carry in order to drive legally. But the good news is that there are some easy ways to save money on your car insurance.</p> <h2>Compare Rates</h2> <p>Before your current policy is up for renewal, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">get some quotes from different insurance companies</a>. Many people find that they can save up to $500 each year on insurance by going with a different company.</p> <p>While there are websites that will give you quotes from several different companies, it's always a good idea to contact the companies you're interested in working with directly. Sometimes, they can offer you savings that you won't find if you go through the other brokers. The best plan is to get quotes both ways, and go with the one that works best.</p> <p>Before you purchase your insurance, make sure you the company you're going with is nationally known and well-reviewed. It's not worth a price break if you're only going to struggle with the company every time you need something!</p> <h2>Check Your Credit Rating</h2> <p>Counterintuitive though it may seem, insurance companies use your credit rating to determine your rates. Statistics show that people with higher credit ratings file fewer insurance claims. If you've had the same credit accounts for a long time and have paid on them regularly and on time, you're considered a more stable person and a lower risk to the insurance company.</p> <p>If there are mistakes on your credit report, clear them up before you look for new car insurance. If your credit is generally shaky, know that cleaning it up will eventually effect your car insurance.</p> <p>Once you have a clean credit record, approach your insurance company and ask them to reconsider your case. If you still don't like the rates they offer, check around with other companies.</p> <h2>Combine Policies</h2> <p>Many car insurance companies will offer you a 10-20% discount when you combine your auto insurance with a renter's or homeowner's policy from the same company (some will offer the discount on BOTH policies). Occasionally, it's even possible to get both policies for a price that's lower than what you would pay for car insurance without the second policy.</p> <p>Another option that's becoming more and more available is to tie your car insurance to your health insurance. Since healthy, strong bodies are less likely to need extended treatment if you get into a minor accident, staying healthy can keep your rates down if you have one of these policies.</p> <p>Whenever you consider combining policies to save money, make sure that the second policy is something you actually need. Maybe you have an amazing deal on homeowner's insurance through your job, or your health insurance is entirely paid for. Don't get yourself into a worse financial situation just to save a few dollars!</p> <h2>Pursue Your Discounts</h2> <p>Probably the most common way to save money on car insurance is through discounts offered by your insurance company. What most people don't know is that these discounts are not necessarily applied automatically. Most auto insurance companies try to apply them whenever possible, but they don't always have enough information to know that a certain discount should apply to you.</p> <p>Ask your insurance agent regularly about the available discounts, and calculate yourself which ones you should qualify for. Check your policy or talk to the company again to make sure each of these are showing up on your policy. When you get another statement, check again. If the discounts aren't applied, make another phone call.</p> <p>Insurance companies deal with so many people that it's easy for your discounts to get lost in the shuffle. By taking responsibility for them yourself, you'll be able to ensure your savings.</p> <h2>Adding it All Up</h2> <p>When you're thinking about car insurance, remember that every little bit adds up. A 2% discount may not seem like much, but over time it can make a big difference. When every penny counts, that difference is magnified even more.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-and-not-do-when-youre-in-a-car-accident">What to Do (and Not Do) When You&#039;re in a Car Accident</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation Insurance auto insurance car insurance Fri, 02 Oct 2009 15:00:03 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 3669 at http://www.wisebread.com Are you a telecommuter paying commuter rates for auto insurance? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-telecommuter-paying-commuter-rates-for-auto-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-a-telecommuter-paying-commuter-rates-for-auto-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007268227XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="375" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was reading through the <a href="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/13/lower-car-insurance-rates-cut-auto-insurance-premiums-affordable-cheap-insurance/" title="http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/13/lower-car-insurance-rates-cut-auto-insurance-premiums-affordable-cheap-insurance/">http://www.thedigeratilife.com/blog/index.php/2009/02/13/lower-car-insur...</a><br /> &nbsp;That was posted as part of Will&rsquo;s great list of articles on April 9, 2009 and thought I&rsquo;d share a couple of tidbits I didn&rsquo;t see mentioned in this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">car insurance</a>. </p> <p>I just added my husband as a driver on my car so I&rsquo;ve been in a good deal of contact with my AAA guy. We&rsquo;ve already followed many of these tips including bundling our home and auto insurance, maintaining a good driving record, and trying to keep a good credit rating. </p> <p>A couple of other things to consider that are working in our favor is the car being completely paid off---which seems to be lowering it quite a bit as does paying it up front for the whole year (no finance charge or interest).</p> <p>But the thing that saves me the most is being listed as primarily a telecommuter. Apparently many auto insurance companies now offer a telecommuter rate if you can prove most of your work is done from home. My car takes my kids to school every day but pretty much sits in the garage unless I&rsquo;m running errands or out of the area. I qualified! Makes me land in the same category as a Sunday driver. For all of you beginning to work at home or anyone who is unemployed, this might make for considerable savings.&nbsp;Worth asking your insurance agent about anyway.</p> <p> Of course, living in the mountains means we&rsquo;ll always keep the deer collision insurance. Deer are notoriously bad about carrying their own insurance and great about playing 'dodge car' down the mountain highways.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/maggie-wells">Maggie Wells</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-telecommuter-paying-commuter-rates-for-auto-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">When to drop collision coverage on your car</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-things-insurance-agents-dont-want-you-to-know">14 Things Insurance Agents Don&#039;t Want You to Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Cars and Transportation car insurance telecommuters Sat, 18 Apr 2009 22:51:29 +0000 Maggie Wells 3064 at http://www.wisebread.com How Much Does it Cost Every Time you Get Into Your Car? http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cost of gas factor.jpg" alt="gas" title="gas" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I recently found myself living out in the <a target="_blank" href="http://freedom30.blogspot.com/2008/07/weve-died-and-gone-to-kingbilli.html">countryside</a> near Melbourne Australia. And aside from gas being referred to as &ldquo;petrol&rdquo; among other <a target="_blank" href="http://freedom30.blogspot.com/2008/07/more-things-that-make-australia-unique.html">Australian idiosyncrasies</a>, living out here could be equated with life in the countryside just about anywhere:</p> <ul> <li>Anything within 50 kilometers (31 miles) is considered &ldquo;close&rdquo;</li> <li>You have to drive to get anywhere (sometimes including your own front gate)</li> <li>The cost of living can be more expensive (depending on how judicious and creative you are)</li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And last but certainly not least:</p> <ul> <li>You will spend a small fortune on gas. Petrol. Whatever.</li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here in Australia, if the price of gas is much below $1.50/liter (the equivalent of about $5.68 /gallon), people practically dance in the streets with joy; it regularly hovers at a price point much higher. And so one day driving back from running some errands in town on a week when I had traveled into town more than I would have liked, I glanced down in shock at my gas gauge: empty. It seemed that I had consumed more gas in the last week than I had realized.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">This led me to a minor budgeting revelation: Every time I travel into town, I spend almost $10 in gas. This was a shock to the system; if there was a bus, I would have happily taken it to be sure. But out here, no such thing exists. (Such is the price you pay to live in the country; a price happily paid by most who live here).</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">This revelation led to an immediate change in attitude towards driving:</p> <ul> <li>Carpooling is now an active goal, if not a necessity (not only for the environment, but also better value when driving).</li> <li>A trip into town doesn&rsquo;t happen unless at least three separate and important tasks can be achieved.</li> <li>Mail order is king!</li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">When I started to even more closely examine the cost of gas/petrol, I realized how much more there is to driving: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance">insurance</a>, maintenance, and wear &amp; tear for starters. If I averaged out the cost of these factors and added them into each trip into town, my excursion shoots up even further to approximately $13.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">$13 just to go into town; to get some groceries, make a social call, or see the dentist. That&rsquo;s not pennies. And here&rsquo;s the corker: Although I live in the country, town is not all that far away, and it is all highway driving.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">How many people who live in the city (or a bedroom community) commute 20 miles or more to work, and in stop &amp; go traffic no less (which increases the cost of gas and wear &amp; tear)?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">How many people who live in the city (and commute in their cars) actually pay higher <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">insurance premiums</a> to do so?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">How many people who live either in the city or the country don&rsquo;t think about all this every time they get into their car?</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So the next time you say you&rsquo;ll just &ldquo;hop in the car&rdquo; to nip off somewhere, think about how much that little trip will cost you. You may decide in the end that the trip doesn&rsquo;t have to happen today, or that maybe you can kill two birds with one stone by adding another errand to your list.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">At the very least, it pays (literally) to figure out for yourself how much it costs every time you get in your car. Only then can you make a rational frugal decision as to whether or not putting the key in the ignition this time will fit into your budget, and not just a life of convenience.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-every-time-you-get-into-your-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-if-energy-costs-keep-rising">What if energy costs keep rising?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-should-you-spend-on-a-new-car">How Much Should You Spend on a New Car?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-know-when-renting-a-moving-truck">What to Know When Renting a Moving Truck</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dangerous-neighborhoods-are-safer-than-commuting">Dangerous neighborhoods are safer than commuting</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Budgeting Cars and Transportation car insurance car maintenance commuting cost of gas cost of petrol driving Thu, 28 Aug 2008 02:00:10 +0000 Nora Dunn 2374 at http://www.wisebread.com When to drop collision coverage on your car http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wrecked-car.jpg" alt="Wrecked car" title="Wrecked Car" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="119" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years back, I got a tidy little lesson in exactly what collision coverage is. We'd had a car damaged in an accident, damaged pretty badly. So, it wasn't a surprise when the insurance company called and said they were going to total the car. Fortunately, we checked over the paperwork they sent.</p> <p>It turned out that the appraiser had made an error--he thought the car was two years older than it actually was. Not only did that make a difference in how big of a check we had coming, it actually changed their decision: the book value of a car two years newer was high enough that it was cheaper to fix the car, and that's what they did. We've been driving it ever since--something like ten years now.</p> <p>That's what collision insurance is: a promise to pay a very specific amount of money, and the ceiling for that amount is the book value of your car, minus the deductible. (The amount of the premium is based on the assumption that your car is an average car of its type. If it is somehow better-than-average, the time to make that case is <em>before</em> your car is in an accident.) Every year it's a promise to pay less money (as your car depreciates). And, of course, its value drops to zero if you don't pay the premium.</p> <p>The insurance company is out to make a profit, of course, and (aside from the interest they earn between when the premiums are paid in and the claims are paid out) there are only two ways to make a profit in the insurance business:</p> <ol> <li>they can charge premiums that are more than their customers losses</li> <li>they can pay out claims that are less than their customers losses</li> </ol> <p>In the real world, of course, they do a little of both, but a combination of competition, regulation, and lawsuits means there are some limits. By and large, premiums are just a bit more than &quot;fair&quot; and payments on claims just a bit less. But that's the point: anytime you pay for more insurance than you need, you're handing the insurance company a bit of extra profit.</p> <p>After the insurance company paid to fix our car, I took a hard look at what they might have paid if the car had been damaged just a little more, then dropped the collision coverage and started banking the difference that made in the premium. By now we've saved much more than the car is worth. And that'll always be true. Over time, what you pay in premiums will always be greater than you'll get back in claims. The only way you'll come close is to have claims that are either large or numerous--and in either of those cases, you can be sure that the insurance company will raise your premiums enough to put you right back where they want you.</p> <p>The rule is, take the risks you can bear, and insure the ones you can't. Look up the book value of your car: that, minus the deductible, is the most the insurance company will pay. If you had to cough up that much money, would it break your finances? If not, then drop collision altogether. Otherwise, you need at least some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/auto-insurance-rates">collision coverage</a>. (Of course, if your car isn't paid off, the bank will insist that you insure it. Another good reason to pay it off as quickly as possible--you not only get out from under the car payment, you can get out from under the collision premium as well.)</p> <p>How much coverage do you need? Probably not enough to make you whole again--that would amount to carrying a zero deductible. Instead, you want the highest deductible you can safely afford. Think about what your options would actually be, if your car got totaled. Could you get by without replacing that car? Could you get by with a cheaper car? Figure out the rock-bottom you could make do with, and set your deductible appropriately.</p> <p>Ask your insurance company or agent how much your premium will go down. Even in the first year you're not actually facing that &quot;rock-bottom&quot; scenario, because you've got the saved premium on top of that. Punch that amount into a financial calculator and see how quickly the saved premium, plus interest, adds up to the book value of your car. After a very few years, you'll be able to raise the deductible again. Very soon after that, you won't need collision coverage at all.</p> <p>Take the risks you can bear and insure the rest. That's the rule.</p> <p>And, as a bonus: if you self-insure, you don't have to worry about getting cheated and you won't have to hire an attorney to sue yourself for trying to low-ball you on the estimate.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/philip-brewer">Philip Brewer</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-to-drop-collision-coverage-on-your-car">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repair-the-car-or-spend-the-cash">Repair the Car or Spend the Cash?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-top-10-cheapest-cars-to-insure">The Top 10 Cheapest Cars to Insure</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-tips-to-save-on-car-insurance">4 Tips to Save on Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-mechanical-breakdown-insurance-worth-it">Is Mechanical Breakdown Insurance Worth It?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-car-insurance">5 Myths About Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Cars and Transportation Insurance car car insurance collision deductable Sat, 03 Nov 2007 00:30:39 +0000 Philip Brewer 1347 at http://www.wisebread.com